Purple corn may help in treatments for diabetes,kidney isease
20 September, 2012
Mississippi: Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most serious complications related to diabetes, often leading to end-stage kidney disease. Purple corn grown in Peru and Chile is a relative of blue corn, which is readily available in the U.S.
The maize is rich in anthocyanins (also known as flavonoids), which are reported to have anti-diabetic properties.
Scientists from the Department of Food and Nutrition and Department of Biochemistry at Hallym University in Korea investigated the cellular and molecular activity of purple corn anthocyanins (PCA) to determine whether and how it affects the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Their findings suggest that PCA inhibits multiple pathways involved in the development of DN, which may help in developing therapies aimed at type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.
The study is entitled "Purple corn anthocyanins inhibit diabetes-associated glomerular monocyte activation and macrophage infiltration." It appears in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology -- Renal Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society.
Researchers found that in human endothelial cells cultured in hyperglycemic kidney conditions, induction of endothelial cell adhesion molecules decreased in a dose-dependent manner with PCA exposure, meaning that the PCA likely interfered with cell-cell adhesion in glomeruli. PCA also appeared to interfere with leukocyte recruitment and adhesion to glomerular endothelial cells.
In diabetic mice, PCA exposure slowed mesangial expansion and interrupted the cellular signaling pathway that may instigate glomerular adhesion and infiltration of inflammatory cells responsible for diabetic glomerulosclerosis. Finally, PCA inhibited levels of macrophage inflammatory protein-2 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 in kidney tissue, demonstrating that it may inhibit macrophage infiltration, which is closely related to renal inflammation.